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Turks Had it Right: Eating Grilled Lamb Intestines Makes You Happier

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You may be surprised to hear that "kokoreç" – cow or lamb intestines grilled with plenty of spices, served as a sandwich – is a source of the happiness hormone serotonin.

Speaking to the press, Dr. Yavuz Dizdar from Istanbul University's Oncology Institute said serotonin makes people happy and gives a sense of freshness and vitality: "Intestines and brain are the biggest sources of serotonin. When serotonin levels are low, it may cause depression."

Kokoreç is also known to be good for chronic allergies. Explaining that allergies can often be caused by damaged intestinal flora, Dizdar said: "There is not much difference between human and lamb intestines, and eating kokoreç might be good to regulate gut flora. There are certain microorganisms that live in intestines and people cannot live without them. Kokoreç is one of the only things that you can get these microorganisms from."

Dizdar also gave tips about how to cook kokoreç. "Kokoreç needs to be cooked while rotating at medium heat. "It is hard to cook kokoreç at home, but those who have patience can try. Places that sell kokoreç first boil the intestines and then cook it slowly."

However, since intestines can spoil easily, Dizdar said kokoreç should only be eaten at clean and reputable places.

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